Week 1: Getting Ready; Have a plan
Read Ephesians 6:10-17: The Armor of God -- 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Study
oGCI as a Denomination
oThe GCI Statement of Beliefs
Lesson objective: To understand that believers are not left defenseless in this world against attacks from evil and hostile spiritual forces, but that every believer is commanded to wage spiritual warfare dressed in full spiritual battle attire.
Introduction: The free world is continually at war against hostile forces seeking political power and even world domination. Freedom-fighting forces are on search and destroy missions in order to curtail and squash the best-laid plans of dictators and terrorist organizations. But where one enemy outpost is crushed in one part of the world, behold, another lifts its ugly head in another. It’s like firefighters chasing arson fires all over the city — as soon as they put one fire out, three more rise up. Of course, freedom-fighting forces could just give up and say: it’s not worth it! However, the consequences would be more horrendous than the present solution! It would be like the fire department saying: let the arsonists have their way and let the whole city burn down!
To prevent the forces of chaos from reigning, nations need military power capable of defense and offense. A state of readiness, with the best technology available in strategic weapons, makes for a good strike force at a moment’s notice. Although our technology is new, the lessons of readiness are as old as Rome! The ancient world depended on it for its survival! Rome had conquered the world of its time by this very method. It took five years just to train one Roman legion in the logistics and art of war. No wonder Rome ruled the world!
Paul was a prisoner in Rome when he penned Ephesians, and he was accustomed to being chained to Roman soldiers. He even converted some of them to Christ! Paul knew of a greater battle taking place, not in the battlefield of flesh and blood but in the spiritual realm of evil adversaries (6:10-12). This is the most dangerous and deadliest battle of all. It’s a fight to the finish with the believer standing on solid ground, but on the edge of the slippery slope of temptation’s beckoning. Christians must hold their ground and not give an inch!
The good news is that the war was won at the cross of Calvary. But that does not mean that believers are completely out of harm’s way — the battles must still be fought. Believers have every assurance that they will prevail, but at the same time believers are warned that they still have a fierce fight on their hands!
Paul, Christ’s ambassador in chains, gives a stern warning and an imperative to put on the panoply of God (vv. 13-17). Panoply (Gr. panoplian) refers to the whole or complete battle dress, including every piece of armor that goes with it — the whole outfit! Paul had seen the Roman soldiers dressed in their full battle gear as they guarded him. If this was true in the material world, how much more important is a constant state of readiness in the spiritual world! Every believer, in order to be spiritually effective, must put on the complete outfit of spiritual armor that God has provided. Christians are to be dressed and constantly vigilant with truth, righteousness, gospel, faith, salvation and the word of God. With the full armor of God we are to hold our ground, defeat the evil spiritual forces of the enemy, and watch and pray (vv. 18-24). Amen.
Questions for Bible Study
1. How is one made “strong in the Lord”? v. 11a. Why does Paul give such a command to believers? v. 11b. See 4:26-27.
2. What reminder does Paul give of the kind of war being waged? v. 12a. Compare with 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
3. Who are the true adversaries of every believer? v. 12b-d. How many of them are named, and where do they dwell? See 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; Colossians 1:13; 2:15.
4. Identify and define the first piece of spiritual armor mentioned. v. 14b. Why is truth a belt?
5. Identify and define the second piece of spiritual armor. v. 14c. Why is righteousness a breastplate?
6. Identify and define the third piece of spiritual armor. v. 15. See Romans 10:15. Explain “readiness that comes from the gospel of peace?”? See Ephesians 2:14-18.
7. Identify and define the fourth piece of spiritual armor. v. 16. Why is faith portrayed as a shield?
8. What is the fifth piece of spiritual armor? v. 17a. Why is salvation a helmet?
9. Identify the sixth piece of spiritual armor and explain the comparison. v. 17b, c. What is unique about a sword in comparison to the other pieces of armor? Why is that used for the Word of God?
10. What does Paul mean by resisting evil spiritual forces?
11. Sometimes Christians are so busy analyzing supernatural adversaries that they forget to focus on the spiritual full armor of God. Does God’s armor work? How do you know — have you tried it? Explain by personal results.
God has provided his church with an invincible spiritual armor. All we have to do is put it on and use it! God’s divine purpose is to gather all things under the headship of Jesus Christ. May we believers be the first in line to his glory! Amen.
Adapted from Grace Communion International (www.gcl.org/bible/eph13)
Week 1: Getting Ready; Have a plan
Run Training: Equipment
Elaborate equipment is not extremely critical for a race of the distance of five kilometers. Yet it is important to cover a few essentials.
You’re a couch potato and have decided to make a healthy change in your life. You decide you want to train for a 5K race. Your friends laugh at you, but you have the resolve and the patience it takes to get up off the couch and train for a 5K race. With patience and commitment it can be done.
1 Get a physical before you begin your exercise program. Although training for a 5K is a great way to get in shape, take all of the necessary precautions to ensure that you are physically ready to begin training. Schedule a visit with your doctor so that you can rule out any potential risk factors that can prevent you from training properly. Running, while it is a beneficial exercise, puts different strains on your body and on your internal organs. A visit to a health care professional, and talking to him or her about your plans to run will make a little more attuned to changes, especially those that might cause you distress.
2 Purchase the right sneakers. If the goal is to train for a 5K race, be sure to purchase proper fitting running shoes. Your old all-purpose tennis shoes won’t work for a 5K race. Go out and treat yourself to a pair of running shoes.
There are a lot of shoes in the market. Some are very sophisticated. Others are rather faddish. In order to get a good running shoe, it’s best to visit a running store that will give you a gait analysis; that is, they will videotape you as you run on a treadmill and advise you of the best type shoe to wear.
Along the way, you’ll learn some new terms, chief among them is ‘pronation.’ Don’t let the word throw you. It’s used to describe how your foot hits the ground and how it moves to push you forward. In normal walking and running, the outer edge of your heel hits the ground first, then there is a natural roll of the foot so that you push off with your big toe. In rolling from heel to toe, the arch of the foot naturally collapses. The idea of the arch collapsing might sound bad, but it is natural and important that it does. This collapsing action of the arch works as a shock absorber and is an integral part of the foot’s function.
Now, back to pronation. Runners and walkers come in three categories when it comes to pronation. These are normal pronators, overpronators, and underpronators.
Normal pronators are the most common foot type. A normal pronator can wear just about any shoe, but may be best suited to a stability shoe that provides moderate arch support (or medial stability). Lightweight runners with normal arches may prefer neutral-cushioned shoes without any added support, or even a performance-training shoe that offers some support but less heft, for a faster feel.
In overpronators, the arch collapses inward too much or too quickly resulting in excessive foot motion and increasing your risk of injuries. You need either stability shoes, which employ devices such as dual-density midsoles and supportive "posts" to reduce pronation and are best for mild to moderate overpronators, or motion-control shoes, which have firmer support devices and are best for severe overpronators, as well as tall, heavy (over 165 pounds), or bow-legged runners.
In underpronators (also called supinators), the arch collapses very little, which can result in too much shock traveling up your legs. Underpronators are best suited to neutral-cushioned shoes because they need a softer midsole to encourage pronation. It's vital that an underpronator's shoes have no added stability devices to reduce or control pronation, the way a stability or motion-control shoe would.
You can use a simple wet foot test to get an idea of what type foot you have. To perform this test, wet the bottom of your feet then step onto a piece of dark paper or some other surface that will show you a clear imprint of your foot.
Normal pronation is shown when the middle of the foot is about one-half the width of the ball area of the foot. Overpronation is shown when the middle of the foot is nearly as wide as the ball area. Underpronation is shown when the middle of the foot is much less than half the ball area.
Again, though, don’t make this decision alone. Talk to a specialist. Good running shoes can cost $100 and more and you want some that will feel great on your feet and last you a long time.
3 Start slow. If your largest energy expenditure was retrieving your plate of food from the microwave, don’t expect to get out and run several miles the first day. The trick to training is accepting your current physical condition and improving it day by day. For beginners, depending on your fitness level, it is recommended to walk briskly for five minutes as a warm up, perform a few stretching exercises, then run for one minute followed by one and a half minutes of walking. Alternate the walk/run for up to 20 minutes.
4 Gradually increase the running time per workout. Over a period of the first five weeks of training gradually reduce the walk time and increase the running time until you are able to run the entire 20-minute workout.
5 Add a little more time to your workout. Once you are able to run for the entire 20 minutes, increase your workout time from 20 to 30 minutes of running. Depending on your speed, 30 minutes of running should cover at 3 miles of distance during your workout. Keep in mind that a 5K race is 3.1 miles, so if you’re running 3 miles easily, you’re just about there.
Adapted from eHow (http://www.ehow.com/how_4487728_train-5k-race.html) and from www.runnersworld.com
Week 1: On Your Feet
This week, follow the plan below on a treadmill, on a track, or on the road (be careful!). Note the plan says run/walk. This means that you should either run or walk as you feel best, or do a combination of running and walking. Above all, enjoy!
Monday: 1.5 mile run/walk
Tuesday: Rest, cross-train, or run/walk 1 mile
Wednesday: 1.5 mile run/walk
Thursday: Rest, cross-train, or run/walk 1 mile
Friday: 1.5 mile run/walk
Saturday: 30 minute walk